Skip to content

We uphold the values of human rights and dignity


The situation in Gaza has reached a point where we can no longer disguise it as a normal conflict. The current situation is of a harrowing nature: innocent civilians, caught in the maelstrom of violence, are fleeing for their very lives. This is not a battlefield but a desperate flight from slaughter.

There is absolutely no justification for the killing of civilians, this obviously applies to both sides of the conflict. What is most urgent right now is cease fire, to stop the disproportionate actions from the Israeli side, with no distinction between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are killed in mass.

And in what way these actions will lead to what Israel wants – more peace and security – is very difficult to see. This will probably foster more hatred on both sides for another generation. That is true for affected Israelis as well but particularly so for the already battered and isolated people of Gaza. The sheer number of Palestinian lives destroyed is of course much bigger, so one might foresee both anger and frustration to be equally bigger. Hopefully that is wrong, but it is difficult to see hope now.

Amidst this turmoil, our government has decided to freeze development cooperation funds destined for Palestine. This action is not merely administrative; it is a measure taken to initiate an investigation to ensure that no Swedish aid money is inadvertently funding terrorist activities. This scrutiny has extended to us, with the government now asking us to reaffirm and validate the safeguards within our operational routines—safeguards that have been a cornerstone of our policy and practice for years. They seek to interrogate our partners, who are themselves struggling to survive amidst the indiscriminate violence, demanding to know how they prevent Swedish funds from reaching terrorists.

At IM, we have always been meticulous in selecting our partners, ensuring that our funds never end up in the coffers of entities with political or religious agendas. These systems aren’t new; they are well-established and have long been a part of our operational integrity. That is who we are.

Yet, what we are facing now seems to be grotesque populism, an exercise aimed more at appeasing the domestic political climate than addressing the real issues at hand. It appears to be a show, a demonstration of action to potential voters rather than a substantive contribution to peace or humanitarian aid.

The silence has been deafening. The fear of losing support from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, has loomed large over Swedish Civil Society, leading to a chilling effect on balanced and critical voices. The government’s stance has effectively muzzled organizations, encouraging a dangerous complacency.

But our patience has worn thin with this hypocrisy. It is time for us to reclaim our voice and speak boldly against the atrocities occurring daily. When hospitals are bombed, when children, women, and men are killed in numbers too great to comprehend, silence and politeness are no longer virtues—they are complicit.

We recognize that changing the Swedish government’s approach may be beyond our reach, but standing by our principles is not. Even as children fall victim to this conflict as we pen this message, we know that to remain silent for the sake of continued government approval is a betrayal of everything IM stands for.

We must be able to meet the gaze of those suffering and those supporting our efforts, saying with conviction that we have acted to the utmost of our ability. It is a call to action, an invitation to stand with us, to raise your voice against this inhumanity, and to uphold the values of human rights and dignity. This is our pledge, our commitment, and our unwavering stance.

By: Malin Kihlström